Changes in legislation
July 27, 2023

Bill S-211 – Canada’s “anti-modern slavery” bill is now law: How does it impact your business?

Bill S-211, An Act to enact the Fighting Against Forced Labour and Child Labour in Supply Chains Act and to amend the Customs Tariff, which received Royal Assent on May 11th, 2023, requires certain government institutions and private sector entities, and entities publicly traded on Canadian exchanges, to report on measures taken to prevent and reduce the risk that forced labour or child labour is used by them or used in their supply chains. It also bans the importation of goods manufactured or produced, in whole or in part, by forced labour or child labour.

What does this entail?

The law comes into force on January 1st, 2024, and the reporting institutions and entities have until May 31st, 2024, to report on measures taken to the Ministers of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and publish their reports in a prominent place on their websites.

A person or entity failing to comply with, or contravening sections of the new law – or that knowingly makes a false or misleading statement, or knowingly provides false or misleading information to the Minister – will be guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction and liable to a maximum fine of $250,000. For each offence, any director, officer or agent or mandatary who directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in, or participated in its commission will be a party to and guilty of the offence, and liable on conviction to the punishment provided for the offence.

Is my business a reporting entity?

Your business must report to the Ministers if it falls within the definition of “government institution”, is so prescribed by regulation, is listed on a Canadian stock exchange, or is an entity doing business in Canada (producing, selling or distributing goods, importing goods, or controlling an entity that does) while meeting at least two of the following conditions for at least one of its two most recent financial years:

  • It has at least $20 million in assets,
  • It generated at least $40 million in revenue,
  • It employs an average of at least 250 employees.

What should I do if my business is a reporting entity?

Delegatus recommends that reporting entities begin taking steps now to meet the May 31st, 2024, deadline. Our team has the expertise to ensure your business meets this new reporting requirement and its operations and value chains meet international human rights standards in keeping with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and other due diligence frameworks.